1 of 4 | Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was one of 18 people the Georgia grand jury investigating election interference initially recommended charges against but were ultimately not indicted. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 8 (UPI) -- The special grand jury in Georgia initially probing efforts to subvert the state's 2020 election results recommended charging U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and two former senators, according the panel's full report, which was released Friday.
The Fulton County special grand jury examining whether crimes were committed in the national effort to overturn the election recommended charges against 21 people who were not eventually indicted, including Graham, R-S.C., and former U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, both Georgia Republicans.
Perdue and Loeffler were in office at the time of the election, but were unseated in runoffs by Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnoff as Trump escalated his claims of election fraud, with a focus on Georgia.
The report noted that a juror voted against indicting them as their statements after the election "did not give rise to their being guilty of a criminal conspiracy."
Graham had been subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury as he was one of the prominent Republicans that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said pressured him to overturn Joe Biden's victory.
Besides the three senators, 18 others were recommended for indictment, but ultimately not charged, including Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn and attorneys Boris Epshteyn and Cleta Mitchell.
The report filed with the Fulton County Clerk recommended Trump, who is seeking the GOP nomination for re-election in 2024, be indicted for the phone call to Raffensperger.
Besides that call, the special grand jury identified several crimes, including a "fake electors" scheme and Coffee County Georgia voting machines being accessed by unauthorized Trump allies, all in an effort to subvert the election.
The others the special grand jury recommended charging were alleged "fake electors" -- Mark Amick, Joseph Brannan, Burt Jones, Brad Carver, Vikki Consiglio, John Downey, Carolyn Fisher, Mark Hennessy and C.B. Yadav -- as well as attorney Lin Wood and former Georgia state Sen. William T. Ligon Jr. They were not charged by the subsequent panel.
The special purpose grand jury submitted its findings to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who then presented the case to another grand jury for any criminal charges. That second panel returned indictments in August against Trump and 18 others, including his former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and attorneys Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, laying out a racketeering scheme.
All of the defendants have pleaded not guilty.
Trump posted on Truth Social that the report released Friday "has ZERO credibility and badly taints Fani Willis and this whole political Witch Hunt. Essentially, they wanted to indict anybody who happened to be breathing at the time.
"It totally undermines the credibility of the findings, and badly hurts the Great State of Georgia, whose wonderful and patriotic people are not happy with this charade of an out of control 'prosecutor' doing the work of, and for, the DOJ. ELECTION INTERFERENCE!"
Many of the recommended indictments were linked to the national effort to overturn the presidential election results in Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.
The special grand jury's report also definitively reiterated that there was no widespread election fraud in Georgia as claimed by Trump and his supporters.
"The grand jury heard extensive testimony on the subject of alleged election fraud from poll workers, investigators, technical experts and state of Georgia employees and officials, as well as from persons still claiming such fraud took place. We find by a unanimous vote that no widespread fraud took place in the Georgia 2020 presidential election," the report said.
Former President Donald Trump is pictured in this photo provided by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office in Atlanta on August 24, 2023. Trump surrendered on a 13-count indictment for efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia. Photo courtesy of Fulton County Sheriff's Office/UPI | License Photo